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2016 Castle Chess Grand Prix

By Davide Nastasio

One of the strongest chess tournaments in Georgia is the Castle Chess Grand Prix, where more than ten different titled players (GMs, IMs, FM, etc.) teach for one week at the Castle Chess Camp at Emory University. About 100 kids and adults learn a lot from the lectures, tactics training, and game analysis.  Afterward, they test their knowledge in a weekend tournament.

The tournament had 224 participants, in 8 sections.  The winners for the master section were GM Naroditsky, GM Akobian, GM Shimanov, and GM Krush all with 4 points out of 5.  The section had 26 players, with a total of 7 GMs. Clearly the tournament was quite difficult for some young players who competed in it, but surely worth the experience.  Click here for the link to see the complete cross table for the Master section.

The winners for the Expert section were Anthony L. Parker and David Mbonu, with 4 points out of 5. Click here for the cross table for the Expert section.

For the Class A, the winners were Alex Michael Moore and Michelangelio Barozzi with 4.5 points out of 5.  The cross table for the Class A section can be found here

All the other sections are covered here


The people who attend a tournament are most interesting! For example, I spoke with the new chairman of the Open Events Committee, and she is working very hard to prepare great tournaments for this Autumn and Winter. Also, Parnell Watkins is in the process of finalizing a rapid tournament with lots of rounds for those who are really passionate about chess and want to feel the adrenaline flowing!



Parnell Watkins and Frank Johnson working on streaming games.


Satisfied with the success of the State Championship, Thad Rogers is considering organizing the next one, and eventually offer higher money prizes.


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Thad Rogers is able to meditate despite the chaos of a tournament hall.


Frank Johnson, AKA Coach Frank, is also creating some interesting matches for the Summer, but on this I’ll write more in another article.


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Frank Johnson working hard on streaming the games.


Let’s review the selection of games:

This game was played on the fifth round.  Clearly our gladiators were tired.


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Krush vs. Akobian, on the 5th round.




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Zapata vs. Guo, 5th round



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Francisco vs Varagona, 5th round



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Corallo vs Ghatti, 5th round.



By mistake, while perusing the games for the Castle Chess GP 2016, I found this game from 2015, which is quite interesting. I could have deleted, but I leave the choice to the reader. One can pass to the next game, or enjoy this battle. Kassa Korley is one of my favorite IMs, because he really plays in an aggressive style. In this case the loser is a GM from Texas.



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Krush vs. Naroditsky, 4th round

GM Naroditsky is clearly a dangerous tactician, but the following game is interesting for the endgame treatment from both sides.



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Moon vs. Studen


A very interesting game played by Shimanov, and a model game for those who play the London System.



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Korley vs. Moon



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Xiao Cheng vs. Becerra



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Peatman vs. Guo



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Aaron vs. Krush


Irina Krush’s games are clearly very instructive, especially for her mastery over rook-and-pawn endgames.


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Ghatti vs. Zapata



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David Mbonu, on the left, playing the 3rd round.


We must Thank David Mbonu for providing his games with commentary!


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Mbonu playing the 2nd round.




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